Silent Start to the Day

Amy Tishler, Reporter

It is 7:45 a.m. on a Thursday morning, and approximately 20 students are scattered throughout the CHS library. The majority of them have binders and textbooks spread out on the wood tables in front of them. A few of them are pecking away at the keyboards of the library’s laptops and desktops. All of them are working so silently that the only sounds are the turning of pages and the scratching of pencils.

The library opens for quiet study at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and, thanks to a new policy change instituted at the start of the current school year, students are no longer required to sign up in advance.

Librarian Lauran DeRigne explained that last year, students were required to sign up a day ahead and the number of students allowed in the library in the mornings was limited in order to discourage socializing.

However, junior Joshua Blair felt that this was unfair to students who sincerely wanted to use the library for quiet study. Blair started a petition to change the policy.

“Because I saw that there were a lot of people who sat outside of the library in the mornings waiting until 8:00 to go inside for less than fifteen minutes of working time,” Blair said. “I believed that the new library policy was not very representative of the traditional values of Clayton High School. I felt as though the importance of Clayton’s educational values were violated by only allowing a specific number of students to enter the library in the morning.”

Blair’s petition was signed by 165 people.

“We had to reflect on how it’s [the old policy was] working,” DeRigne said about a meeting with the library staff in May in response to the petition.  The staff decided to eliminate the advance sign-ups. DeRigne said that other than a few students not at first understanding it was supposed to be independent study, the new policy appears to be a success.

Blair agrees.

“I was very excited to see that people were able to get into the library and be allowed a decent amount of time to do their work,” Blair said.